Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 25 September 19:
Hebrews 10:24-25 — “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
The more united you are with God, the more united you will be with other believers. Christians naturally have a longing to be around other Christians who share in their priority of worship and mission. Fellowship and unity are evidence of faith –
– 1 John 1:7 — but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin
– 1 John 4:12 — No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
– 1 John 1:3 — that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
– Malachi 3:16 — Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name.
– 1 Corinthians 12:12 — For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
– 1 Peter 2:5 — You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
– John 17:22-23 — The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
– Hebrews 6:10 — For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
Jesus prayed to the Father for our fellowship and unity. The Bible describes believers as members of a body and as stones of a temple. How united are parts of a body, and how close and connected are stones of a temple? How close and connected should we be with fellow believers? What would be your reaction if you saw a human body divided among its parts? You would naturally be horrified! How do you feel about disunity among believers? In John 15, Jesus tells His followers to abide in His love. John explains that we abide in His love when we love one another, and God’s love is perfected in us through this fellowship. (1 John 4:12)
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…. encouraging one another….” Our fellowship should be relationships of encouraging discipleship and mutual edification, practicing the “one-anothers” described in the Bible, and today, we need this encouragement for than ever – “and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Today’s verses tell us to “consider”, to think about, how we can be more supportive to fellow believers. With whom do you spend most of your time? Are your closest friendships intentional partnerships in discipleship? Who are you consistently encouraging in Christ, and who is building you up in faith? How united are you with your church body? Are you committed to serving the saints?
– Romans 12:10 — Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
A final note: God’s love is perfected in us when we remain in close fellowship with those believers who are sometimes hard to love, those who may not yet be matured in love. Christian fellowship is often an opportunity for us to practice mercy and grace, to love as Christ loves us. When describing the church as a human body, Paul reminds the believers that all parts of the body are indispensable, even those vulnerable parts we would rather not expose to the public, metaphorically speaking. You know, those parts that have slang, profane names attached to them people sometimes call others who are disagreeable. Concerning these parts of the body, Paul says, “The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. (1 Corinthians 12:22-27) Don’t use disagreeable people as an excuse to “stop meeting together.” Instead, see disagreeable people as an opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ.
– Proverbs 18:1 — Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 25 September 19: Today, prioritize Christian fellowship and unit with the body of Christ, not just at church but also throughout the week.